The NatWest Credit Card

By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 22nd October, 2019.

Great for: Low APR and no foreign transaction fees
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Where the NatWest Credit Card excels is being that solid, take-everywhere card. With a low standard APR and no foreign transaction fees, this card can find a place in many peoples’ wallets. However, if you’re looking for rewards, cashback or a sign-up bonus, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance-transfer fees
  • Even lower balance-transfer rate of 6.9% for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • Low standard APR
  • No foreign-transaction fees
  • No balance-transfer fees
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    9.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance-transfer fees
  • Even lower balance-transfer rate of 6.9% for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Bottom line

The NatWest Credit Card offers an attractive proposition for consumers seeking a card for international use. It does not have a non-sterling transaction fee, unlike most credit cards. This could save consumers significant sums of money in the long run. The lack of an annual fee means that using the card may be worthwhile even for an occasional international traveller.

As a day-to-day credit card for use in the UK, better options may be available elsewhere. The card lacks rewards or a 0% interest balance transfer period. However, with the card being squarely aimed at the travel segment, this is perhaps to be expected. Overall, the NatWest Credit Card fulfils its raison d’être in terms of its travel credentials, while a lack of balance transfer fee is a bonus that could help to reduce an individual’s interest payments.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the NatWest Credit Card

  • No foreign transaction fees – While the vast majority of credit cards charge a non-sterling transaction fee when used abroad, the NatWest Credit Card does not. This makes it ideal for international use, since it could save consumers around 3% compared with a wide range of other credit cards. Users of the card will obtain the standard MasterCard foreign exchange rate. The lack of charges when used abroad means that the card is a realistic alternative to cash, with it offering a competitive overall rate as well as the convenience and consumer protection that come with using a credit card.
  • No annual fee – The card does not charge an annual fee. This makes it an ideal travel card, since it is possible to use it only for trips abroad without incurring fees. This may allow consumers to have an alternative card for day-to-day use in the UK that has a range of rewards, cashback or balance transfer offers. Having one card for use in the UK and one for international travel may allow consumers to enjoy the best of both worlds in terms of obtaining rewards and the best deal, while not paying transaction fees when travelling abroad.
  • Balance transfer fee – The card does not have a balance transfer fee. This allows users to transfer an outstanding balance from another card onto their NatWest Credit Card without paying a one-off charge. This could mean that as well as its appeal when being used abroad, it may offer savings on interest payments should an individual be paying a higher rate on existing credit card balances. This could broaden the appeal of the card, although there may be better options for consumers who want to reduce the amount of interest they pay on existing credit card debt.

Why trust me

I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.

What could be improved

  • Rewards – A wide range of credit cards offer rewards to consumers, either in the form of cashback or offers for various products and services. The NatWest Credit Card, though, does not have a rewards scheme. This means that its users may be better off having a card for use in the UK, since it will mean that they can benefit from a variety of offers elsewhere. For example, the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card offers up to 1% cashback on purchases, while having no annual fee. Combining such a card with the NatWest Credit Card’s travel benefits could maximise the amount saved by consumers.
  • Balance transfer offer – While the NatWest Credit Card does not charge a balance transfer fee, it still charges interest on debts transferred from other credit cards. This may mean that consumers seeking to slash the amount of interest they pay on existing debt need to have an alternative card that offers a 0% interest balance transfer period.

How does the NatWest Credit Card’s offer stack up?

For consumers who are seeking a card to use when on holiday or travelling abroad, the NatWest Credit Card has a compelling offer. It is uncommon to find credit cards that do not have a non-sterling transaction fee. It could, therefore, offer its users significant savings each year. The lack of an annual fee also makes it appealing to consumers who may only want to use the card abroad.

As a primary credit card, the NatWest Credit Card’s lack of rewards or a 0% interest balance transfer offer reduce its overall appeal. For consumers who are seeking to reduce the interest they pay on existing debt, or who are looking to benefit from a variety of cashback offers, there may be better opportunities available elsewhere. But from a purely travel perspective, the card has an appealing offer.

The NatWest Credit Card credit score

In order to apply for the NatWest Credit Card, you must be a UK resident over the age of 18 who earns at least £10,000 per annum. The online application takes around ten minutes to complete, with successful applicants receiving their card within seven working days of being accepted.

As for all credit cards, the interest rate advertised is representative. This means that it must be offered to 51% of applicants, with NatWest able to offer a different rate to the remaining 49% of applicants. As such, you may not receive the advertised rate. This could be particularly relevant for consumers who are seeking to transfer an existing balance.

How to apply

Applications can be made online, by phone or in branch. NatWest offers a service to check your eligibility for the card without affecting your credit rating. It takes just two minutes to complete and could provide you with a guide as to the chances of being accepted for the card. Details required to complete the application include your address history, employment details and information about any other credit cards currently held elsewhere.

Is the NatWest Credit Card right for you?

As a travel-focused card, the NatWest Credit Card is appealing. It enables individuals to use their credit card internationally without being penalised for doing so in the form of non-sterling transaction fees. The lack of an annual fee means that it is attractive for consumers who travel abroad infrequently, as well as those who regularly leave the UK for business or holidays. As an added bonus, the card’s lack of a balance transfer fee may mean that it is possible to reduce your interest costs, depending on the rate being paid elsewhere.

The card’s lack of rewards mean that it may be an ideal secondary, rather than primary, credit card. It is possible to obtain rewards in the form of cashback and discounts from other cards, which could make them more appealing for day-to-day use in the UK. Similarly, consumers seeking to reduce interest costs on existing debts may benefit from having a balance transfer card that offers a 0% interest rate on debt transferred from other cards for a specified period.

See the Best Credit Cards for travel


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